Last night, officials with the City of Houston announced a curfew from 12:00-5:00 a.m. in an effort to curtail potential looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo stated the curfew would serve as a “tool to assess the intentions of the people who are out” on the streets at those hours.
In the public address, Acevedo warned residents to stay off the streets during those hours unless it was “absolutely necessary.”
Houston Police Chief Acevedo explains recommendation for curfew made after instances of looting, robbing. https://t.co/wlyVPkFPKP
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 29, 2017
“You cannot drive, nor be in any public place,” warned Chief Acevedo. “We have had problems with armed robberies, with people with guns and firearms.”
According to Acevedo, the curfew also serves the purpose of freeing up patrol officers to continue to participate in rescue operations, rather than patrolling abandoned streets and searching for potential looters:
“We’re a welcoming city, but we are not going to tolerate people victimizing (residents), especially committing armed robberies in our community. So word to the wise: Don’t come to Houston, because you’re going to be caught. And I guarantee you when you take advantage of people and prey on them in these circumstances, that’s despicable behavior and we’re all going to push hard to make sure you don’t see the sunlight anytime soon.”
Acevedo and Mayor Sylvester Turner previously announced a curfew starting at 10:00 p.m., but later revised the deadline to midnight after recommendation from Judge Emmett.
Mayor Turner stated in a press conference the later start time for the curfew would give volunteers additional time to work with flood victims and to get home to their families.
Other regions affected by the storm also established curfews:
Refugio County, which includes Corpus Christi, instituted a 10 p.m. curfew, the city of LaGrange has announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and the city of Vidor in East Texas set up a 7:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. curfew.
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